Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.